Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday that commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The holiday begins on the 25th day of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar and usually falls in December on the Gregorian calendar. Hanukkah is a joyous occasion celebrated with family gatherings, feasts, gifts, and the lighting of candles on a special menorah. The holiday has both religious and cultural significance for Jews all over the world.
Hanukkah celebrates a miracle that took place more than 2,000 years ago when a small band of Jewish warriors known as the Maccabees overthrew the Syrian Greek army. According to legend, when the Maccabees rededicated the Holy Temple, they found only enough oil to light the menorah for one day. Miraculously, the oil lasted for eight days, giving them time to get more. Hanukkah is thus a holiday that celebrates freedom and miraculous triumphs against all odds. For many Jews, Hanukkah is also a time to celebrate their heritage and culture. Families come together to eat traditional foods such as latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts), exchange gifts, and play games such as dreidel. By celebrating Hanukkah together, Jews can maintain their connection to their history and culture even as they live in diaspora all over the world.
Use these festive resources to celebrate the true spirit of Hanukkah: freedom, family, friends, and faith.